Street vendors litter the streets of various cities in India. From hawking snacks, drinks, to even clothing items, street vendors can be found in almost every nook and cranny of India’s cities.
Granted that the services of street hawkers enable consumers to quickly and easily purchase items, the need to regularize the hawkers, so as to prevent other citizens from being inconvenienced, cannot be overlooked.
However, there is also a need to strike a balance in regularizing street vendors’ activities and giving them the opportunity to make an honest living without fear of victimization and harassment by authorities.
Thus, in 2014, the lawmakers passed the Street Vendors’ Act, which aimed at protecting hawkers within the country from eviction. The Act, however, required the various States to issue licenses to hawkers, establish hawking zones, and put in place Town Vending Committees (TVCs).
Unfortunately, as observed by the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), the 2014 Act has not been fully implemented by any of the States. Because of this, many hawkers are unlicensed, flee eviction drives, and are targets of corrupt officials.
But presently, Delhi has established 28 TVCs, made up of representatives from Municipal Commission, Street Vendors, Police, and Town Planners.
The TVCs will embark on carrying out a survey of hawkers within the city and issue vending certificates. The vending certificate will give the hawkers the license to operate their business from a designated spot, thereby protecting the hawkers from threat of eviction.